October 30, 2016

You should not because....

Because I am elder than you.
Because I am big and you are small.
Because I know it all.
Because you are small now.
Because you dont understand.

How many times have you used such lines to silence your child and stop the conversation at that moment?

Your child, upon seeing you handle the scissor/knife wants to try her hand. You say no. When questioned by her 'Doesn't it harm you?' or 'You are also doing it, ma', you simply reply 'It doesn't harm me because I am elder, you are small'. Is there any one who can relate to such conversations.

Your child's learning is stopped right at that moment when you replied so. His/her curiosity is brushed away just when the parent said 'no'.

Did she ask for scissor? Teach her how to handle it. Children are very quick learners. As they proceed to hold the scissor, remind them which part is actually sharp, which part should be held and where the finger needs be avoided.

Did she ask for knife? Show her the knife, the edge that is sharp. Show her how you hold the fruit/vegetable with one hand and cut down knife with other hand. Ask her to hold the fruit and knife and explain her 'you need to hold the fruit firmly and cut through with knife, if you lose balance and the fruit moves away, there is a chance that your finger comes in knife's way and wound you. What you need to cut is the fruit not your skin, else. If there's a cut in skin, blood comes out of the cut. Now check for yourself if you have balance while cutting and go ahead. I am able to cut because I can hold it firmly. Even you will be able to do the same one day. You may just need some time'.

Did she ask for standing right at the hot stove in kitchen? Explain her what hot is and how we cannot handle too much heat. You could show her how hot, warm and cold feel like during her bath time. She will herself understand and move away from the stove. 

Does your child want to open the water bottle and you are worried that she may spill water out of it? Explain her what tight and loose mean. Tell her she could try to open and ask for your help if needed. Show her how she can hold the bottle right. Still, if there is some water on floor, don't start discouraging her by saying 'see I told you not to try, but you won't listen etc etc'. Tell her its OK to not succeed in the first attempt and that next time she will be able to hold it better and open the cap right. This kind of positive response boosts your child's self esteem and encourages her to try new things.

Is she jumping aimlessly on the sofa? Arrange few pillows on floor and ask her to jump across them. You could gradually increase the height/width of the hurdle jump.

Encourage your child to do what they get in mind in an organised manner. This is how parents can encourage playtime that leads to learning for the child and bonding between parent and child.

I often hear parents yell 'don't jump, just sit and watch TV. Else, I will snatch <something> away from you'. What has the child got to learn from such response?

Another very common scenario that I notice is parents yelling at their child and in turn saying ' you are supposed to listen to me because you are small. I can yell but you cannot because I'm big and you are small'. Try to analyse the situation and decide for yourself what the child must be learning from you in such responses.

There will be numerous instances when children try to imitate the elders and parents lose an opportunity to connect to their child by having a negative response to the child's action. (I will try to recollect more instances and update this post further).

Hope every parent realises the importance of parenting, the fact that parents are the first teachers to their children and adopt blissful parenting techniques that lead to rearing their children to be better adults.

October 26, 2016

Bonding with baby before birth

Bonding with your baby starts right at the moment the couple plans for conception.

Both mother and father, should be at mental peace and be conscious of welcoming the divine soul into their lives.

There are various ways a mother can connect to her child in womb. Like,

Meditation
Spending solo time
Writing to the child
Reading to the child
Listening to music while being conscious of the presence of child in your womb
And most importantly, every moment is an opportunity to connect with your child. Whatever you may be doing, eating, reading, exercising, writing, by being conscious of the presence of a spiritual soul in your womb you keep connecting to your child.

Becoming parents, motherhood, parent hood, rearing children, teaching children, playing with children are all not just physical activities that are part of our lives, but, ought to be done soulfully.
You need to connect to the soul. It is only a matter of time that you are elder than your child, but, remember, every child is precious, they have as much as or more knowledge than any adult. What they lack is the ability to express it, be it, by action or words. And this ability is only linked to their physical developmental cycle and not spiritual. Every child, spiritually, is aware of themselves, of her/his parents, her/his purpose of birth. The child could be at a higher spiritual level than the parents actually are. Your child could one day teach you some secrets of life. None of us know what's in store. All we can do is encourage them, guide them, always keeping in mind that they are not in any way lesser than us.

Writing about my pregnancy period, I have taken to certain ways to connect to the baby in womb. One of them being writing to the baby by making cards at the end of every month with a personalised message that signifies the soul's journey in my womb up to that month.

I can briefly write about what each month signifies:

Month 1: Beginning of new life. The divine soul has chosen its parents and decided to take birth.
Month 2: Budding growth
Month 3: First time I have seen the fetus on screen.
Month 4: Beginning to feel baby movements
Month 5: Auditory senses begin to develop and baby is able to hear
Month 6: Touch sensitivity and finger grip has developed.
Month 7: Preparing for life outside womb
Month 8: Ready to bloom
Month 9: Wait is complete, preparing to take its path

Following are snapshots of the same(does not include the personalised messages, of course!)

Cards for child No. 1:














 



Cards for child No. 2:

  
  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  
 






Infant Stimulation - Texture cards

It is well known fact that there exists rapid development in early childhood. Just after birth, babies are in constant endeavour to feel new things, see new things and learn new things. Showing them various objects, talking about them and making them aware of their surrounding is the most important first step to teaching an infant.

An infant can be shown various colours starting with contrasting black and white for early infants, shapes, sounds, textures and many more around you. All you need is the willingness to spend quality time with your infant. Do not just stick to the TV or glue to the smart phone only because your infant baby is not asking for your attention. He's there, had his milk, lying on the bed, in his own world - sure, so think you want to while away this time in your way? This kind of lifestyle doesn't do any good for the parent-child relation. Consider every moment as one that connects you with your baby.

Look for what you can teach your infant. Look for what you can talk to your infant. With every stimulation that the infant receives, there is a neuron that gets connected in the brain. Make sure you are making active, quality and positively oriented connections in that small but immense brain of the child.

 You could read about the importance of infant stimulation on internet. There's a whole lot of information that could be put to practice.

Following are some texture cards that I made:












Apart from these, there are many other things that an infant could experience, like, sand, grass, leaves, hay, leather, fur, plastic, metal etc.

Following pic shows some items that I cannot actually make a model of, but, can offer them for texture experience.


Click here to read a similar post on touch and texture activities.

October 23, 2016

What's in the bag?

This is another interesting activity my daughter loved to play now and then for some days and still playing!

This activity contains more of tone modulation to keep your child curious more than what they are actually doing. Hence, be as excited as you can and see how excited your child is as they pick up each card blind-folded.

A, even took my place and wanted me to pick the card while she questioned curiously about what I would be picking up.

Just put cards with various drawings(your child's favourites) in a bag.
Ask them to close their eyes and pick one as you in an excited tone say 'What's in the bag? What's in the bag? What's in the bag?'
A picked each card and read the picture out loudly with good enthu.





October 20, 2016

Learning while messing around

What we see as messing around could be considered as learning exercise by children. All they look for in any action is do they find anything new in it, how is the result (be it sound or visual) achieved, what is the cause, what is the response, is it repetitive, does the intensity subside or increase or remain the same.

As I emphasize in many of my posts, learning from what children do and understanding them is the important step in parenting. The following scenario that I am writing on has occurred not just once but twice on different days. Purpose of sharing it here is only to spread awareness on the different ways that children take to while learning or doing something new.

Scene: 2y 9m old A spilling out water from her water bottle while moving around in the room.

I ask her to keep a wipe cloth along with her that she could use if she wants to wipe it or be careful while walking, lest she could slip off.

She runs to get her wipe cloth. And excitedly says, 'now I'm going to wipe all the water off'

I say 'v good, just watch your step'

She is busy cleaning up the floor and screaming out loud 'floor is clean'

Just as I said thanks, I see her spilling out the water again and eagerly running to get the wipe cloth for wiping.

And again laughing and screaming about how clean the floor became as she wiped.

Curious enough, I now ask her, where is all the water now?

On the floor

And where did the water go once you wiped it?

To the cloth

Is it? Is it why the cloth is wet?

Yes, the cloth took away all the water and is now wet.

She shows me the wet portion on cloth and says, water is here.

Whoa! Cool.

Now, I don't know if she reasoned the statement by her intuition  or she could recall what I told her a year back. But, we had a similar activity where she was asked to wipe the table and I showed her how the cloth was absorbing water as we wipe with it.

Whatever the reason is, points that are to be noted are:
  • She was not messing around
  • She was not being naughty
  • She was not being 'non-attentive' to you if you actually said no to her action
  • She was not being dirty
  • She was only learning the action and consequences of it - how a cloth could absorb water
  • You could even offer her a polythene bag/cover and ask her to try wiping with it upon which she would learn that polythene does not have absorption capacity.


And how many of you would first yell a 'no' to spilling of water??

Do realise the benefits and learning that the child could miss if they were actually denied in their exploration. Every moment is an opportunity to learn something new. This is true for every individual, applicable more for children as parents are the ones who decide and teach the child what they can look for in every opportunity.

Moreover, child who hears a 'no' to her action is deeply upset within her conscience, though the feeling and reactions are not understandable by either the young child or the grown up parent. Every action of theirs and every reaction from the care taker is being recorded in their powerful brain.
More the number is No's they hear, more the parents' resistance to their exploring play, more is their resistance to parents words in the growing years when they are actually capable of deciding what they want to do.

Scene 2:

A holding a glass water, drank some of it and poured some over her shirt.
I ask her, did you do it knowingly or unknowingly?
She says, I did it knowingly.
Do you know that your dress becomes wet with water.
Yes.
You still wanted to do it?
Yes, I wanted to see how it is.
OK, now let's change your dress.
Here you have a spare dress, moreover you may not like it, but when outside we need to be careful, OK?
OK, I will wear whatever spare dress you bring for me now.
I laugh secretly (A doesn't immediately like any of the dresses we offer and to dress her it takes whole of 15-20 mins every time there is a dress change)

Pick up the card


Materials needed: die, dot cards
This is a very simple and quite engaging activity. A repeatedly played this for around 10 times proving her interest in playing this one. 

She even joined me in making the dot cards by drawing x number of circles and coloring them.

Step 1: roll the die
Step 2: pick the appropriate card

One could have some variations in playing this game by asking the child pick up parts of the number shown on die. Like picking 1 and 1 for 2 etc. Older kids can have even more variations l:
Pick any card and see if you have to add or subtract a number to match the number shown on die.
Pick card showing one number less than that on die
Pick two cards that total the number on die
And many more.

As I observed A playing continuously I could clearly realise her way of learning and grasping. I pay constant attention to my voice, tone, her eye movements and the response of her hand. We can learn many things by observing little children which helps us enhance our understanding of their behaviour and aid in providing better environment and activities in future. She quite quickly could pick up the . right card like how we adults do  







October 17, 2016

2 year old - wants and needs

As we started our evening walk, A wanted to decide for herself which way, direction she wanted to move forward. Children may not be strongly decisive in their young age. The thing she feels like doing at x moment changes at y moment where x and y are only 2 minutes apart. She walked for 2 minutes and just when she saw her friend M climbing up the stairs to the grocery store, she followed her to climb up the stairs. I followed A, asked her if she wanted to go to store along with M, she nodded her head horizontally. I reminded her that she wanted to go for walk. She stared at empty space. Just then, there were other children playing with laser lights that caught her attention. I explained to her what it was and how they were doing it. She was still standing at the same place and looking around, may be, trying to recollect the purpose for which she actually climbed the stairs, suddenly moving in random directions. I bent down to her, held her with hand, asked her what she wanted to do, wait for M, sit there for a while, go into the stores, tried to get her intention for what she wanted to do. Then, she immediately, in loud excited tone, said, we should actually go for a walk and for that we need to get down the stairs and walk that way. For which I said, okay great, now let's go that way.

Many times it happens that, just after you end up doing the exact thing that your child has asked for, they ask for another random thing. Be it during meal time or play time or nap time. It is good to remember and not become demons in front of their eyes by yelling about what they had asked and how you have done the right way. Children themselves do not know the reason for what they want, they do not know why they are asking for another disconnected thing in next 2 minutes. They cannot answer our questions regarding why they behave so.

It will be better if the parent observes the child more and react less to what children do and talk. All the little ones need,  is acknowledgement of their words, encouragement for what they ask or do and guidance if they are really looking for some.

Schedules and Motivation

Time is 8 30 AM. Both kids are done with waking up, brushing teeth, had milk, played around and ate breakfast. That's wha...